Did prophet Abraham lie about who broke the idols?

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Who is the biggest Ilah/god in people’s mind?

Illah/gods are the ones with whom there is no two-way communication. When you call them they can’t respond to you (46:5, 7:194, 13:14). While, Allah/God do communicate with people through His Book. You get to know about Allah/God, His orders, His likes and dislikes through His Book. When you don’t know Allah/God through His Book, Allah/God is like an Ilah/god to you i.e there is no two way communication with Him. Those people who don’t have communication with Allah/God, the biggest Illah/god in their minds is Allah/God.  While they do say that Allah/God is their Lord but they don’t know what Allah/God is asking them to do. They don’t have knowledge of His Book and His message to them. They keep putting their list of desires before Him, however they don’t know what He is asking them to become or act like in order for their supplications to be accepted,  so Allah/God becomes the Biggest Illah for them.

Because, the majority of people who don’t have knowledge of the Book and therefore don’t know Allah’s message, they fall prey to the syndrome of smaller ilah’s/gods. These smaller ilahs/gods are of various types; an introduction to them is given in previously published post https://topicsfromquran.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/ilahs-false-gods-mentioned-in-al-kitab/ . They can be in the form of emotions, physical idols, non physical idols, Jesus, Mary, Lofty personalities, stories of the past, etc. The first statement of All Messengers in the Book, is not to associate smaller illahs/gods with Allah/God. The practice of Ibrahim A.S is to break the smaller illah’s/gods so that people can turn towards the real Allah/God. That is termed as the best practice in the eyes of the Lord (60:4). The smaller Illah’s/gods/idols cannot be broken in people nafs/psyche without the leave of Allah/God as they are so deeply ingrained in people.

Therefore, when Ibrahim A.S, said that the Biggest one has broken the smaller idols, it is not a lie, its actually a true statement. Allah confirms in Quran that Ibrahim is truthful prophet (19:41) although story and history books may tell you that Ibrahim has told 3 lies in his life time. This can not be true in light of Quranic Ayat. These stories cannot relate the fact that when Ibrahim broke the Idols of his nation and told them that the Biggest Illah has done it, he actually means that the smaller Illah’s can only be shattered by the leave of Allah, as they are so deeply ingrained in one’s psyche. Related Quranic Ayas are given below:

21:52 إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا هَٰذِهِ التَّمَاثِيلُ الَّتِي أَنتُمْ لَهَا عَاكِفُونَ

When he said to his father and his people, “What are these statues/dramas to which you are devoting yourselves?”

37:95  قَالَ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مَا تَنْحِتُونَ

He said, “Do you worship what you yourself carve?”

21:57  وَتَاللَّهِ لَأَكِيدَنَّ أَصْنَامَكُم بَعْدَ أَن تُوَلُّوا مُدْبِرِينَ

And by Allah I will plan for your idols after you will turn your backs.

37:93  فَرَاغَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضَرْبًا بِالْيَمِينِ

So he conned his way on them moving/striking with the right

The illahs are so deeply ingrained in people’s psyche and people are so emotionally attached with them that they cannot be broken head on. You need to strike the illahs from the side. That is not making them realize that it is their illahs who are being targeted, otherwise they will become so emotional that you will not be able to reason with them.

21:58  فَجَعَلَهُمْ جُذَاذًا إِلَّا كَبِيرًا لَّهُمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ يَرْجِعُونَ

So he shattered (their gods) to small pieces except THE GREAT ONE so that they turn to HIM.

Ibrahim shattered the smaller Ilahs/gods so that people get rid of their small gods and can turn to the Big one i.e Allah.

21:62-63  قَالُوا أَأَنتَ فَعَلْتَ هَٰذَا بِآلِهَتِنَا يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ  قَالَ بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَٰذَا فَاسْأَلُوهُمْ إِن كَانُوا يَنطِقُونَ

They said! Are you the one who has done this with our gods, O` Ibrahim/Abraham? He said! Instead, the GREAT ONE of them has done it,  ask them if they can speak. 

Ibrahim A.S, did not lie here. The smaller gods are always shattered in people Nafs/phsyche with the leave of Allah. Most people who believe in Allah don’t do so without associating him with smaller gods (12:106). It is Allah only, who can destroy the ilahs/smaller gods with His mercy.

19:41  وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقًا نَّبِيًّا

And mention in The Book, Ibrahim/Abraham: He was a Truthful prophet.

Allah confirm that Ibrahim is a Truthful prophet.

8:17  فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ قَتَلَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ رَمَىٰ ۚ وَلِيُبْلِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلَاءً حَسَنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

It is not you who fought them; but it was Allah who fought them. And you did not throw pebbles when you threw them but Allah did threw the pebbles in order that He might test the believers by a gracious trial. Verily Allah hears and knows (all things).

When you act in the way of Allah according to His wishes, actually Allah is getting these done through you.

60:4 قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ

Indeed there is for you The most beautiful practice in Ibrahim(Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: surely , We are clear of you and of whatever you serve besides Allah: We have rejected you, and there has begun, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever, unless you believe in Allah and Him alone……..

Ibrahim A.S is the Idol breaker per Quran, and this is a best practice/ Uswatun Hasanah for his followers to do, i.e break ideological idols in the hearts and minds of people and be free from what people serve beside Allah.

 Image result for Ibrahim breaking idols


12:106  وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُم بِاللَّهِ إِلَّا وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ

And most of them do not believe with  Allah  without associating (other as partners) with Him!

37:89  فَقَالَ إِنِّي سَقِيمٌ

(Ibrahim said) I am sick.

Ibrahim did not lie here, he was sick of what his nations used to associate with Allah.

37:85-86  إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَاذَا تَعْبُدُونَ أَئِفْكًا آلِهَةً دُونَ اللَّهِ تُرِيدُونَ

He said to his father and his people, “What are you serving/worshiping? Is it these fabricated gods, instead of Allah, that you want?

Ibrahim was sick of their associating false gods with Allah.

Further Study:

A lecture describing false gods and how prophet Ibrahim A.S breaks Idols in people’s minds;



Image result for Ibrahim breaking idols

Religion of Ibrahim

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Religion of Ibrahim (a.s)

Undoubtedly there are many religions in the world existing today and also a growing number of people not following any religion. What does the Book say about following a religion and which one? We will see shortly in the light of ayahs/signs of the Book.

The word for religion in Arabic is ملت/‘Millat’. There is another word which is commonly understood to mean religion i.e دين/‘Din’. However, the context in which ‘Din’ is used in the Book is ‘judgment’ and not religion.

God instructs every one to follow the religion of Ibrahim (a.s) in ayat 95 of Sura 3 Ale-Imran.

3:95: قُلْ صَدَقَ اللّهُ فَاتَّبِعُواْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

“Say, Allah speaks the truth, so you all, follow the religion of Ibrahim, the true in faith; he was not of the polytheists.”

Then God inspired the messenger to follow the religion of Ibrahim (a.s) in Ayat 123 of Sura 16:

16:123 ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

“Then We inspired thee (Mohammad), Follow the religion of Ibrahim, the true in faith, and he was not from the polytheists.”

The messenger confirms that God has guided him to the straight path of the religion of Ibrahim in Ayat 161 of Sura 6 Al-Inam.

6:161 قُلْ إِنَّنِي هَدَانِي رَبِّي إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ دِينًا قِيَمًا مِّلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

“Say : Surely my Lord has guided me to a straight path; a judgment established; the religion of true Ibrahim and he was not from the polytheists.”

Was this inspiration to follow the the religion of Ibrahim, a new instruction for messenger and people? or the same religion and practice was asked to be followed which was the religion and practice of all previous messengers? The following three ayahs will shed light on this question:

41:43 مَا يُقَالُ لَكَ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ قِيلَ لِلرُّسُلِ مِن قَبْلِكَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغْفِرَةٍ وَذُو عِقَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

“Nothing is said to You (Mohammad) that was not said to the messengers before you: verily your Lord has at His command (all) forgiveness as well as the most grievous vengeance.”

46:9 قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعًا مِّنْ الرُّسُلِ وَمَا أَدْرِي مَا يُفْعَلُ بِي وَلَا بِكُمْ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَى إِلَيَّ وَمَا أَنَا إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ

“Say (O’ Mohammad) “I am no bringer of new doctrine among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I follow but that which is revealed to me by inspiration; I am but a warner open and clear.”

42:13 شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَاء وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ

“The same shariat/way has He established for you all which He enjoined on Nooh- that We have sent by inspiration to you (Mohammad) – and that which We enjoined on Ibrahim, Moosa, and Essa:  that you should remain steadfast in Din/Judgement, and make no differentiation therein: to those who join others with Allah, hard is the (way) to which you call them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).”

After you have made it your judgement to follow the religion of Ibrahim, God names you ‘Muslim’ as stated Aya 78 of Sura Haj

22:78 وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمينَ مِن قَبْلُ وَفِي هَذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاء عَلَى النَّاسِ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ

“And you strive in Allah as is the right of striving in Him. He has chosen you and He has made no difficulty over you in the din/judgment ; The religion of your father Ibrahim. And He has named you ‘muslim’ from before and in this, so the messenger  be a witness over you and you be a witness over mankind. Then establish salat/prayer and give zakah and hold fast with Allah. He is your protector so He is the blessed protector and the blessed helper”

Other related Ayas to this topic are: 60:4, 2:128, 4:26, 2:130, 4:125, 3:67, 2:135, 12:38